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Wolves land two starters on All-Kitsap baseball team
The playoffs were a microcosm of South Kitsap’s season.
At their best, the Wolves lost 2-1 in the West Central District Tournament against Puyallup, a team that played for the Class 4A state championship. South beat Jefferson 10-2 later the same day to advance to state.
The Wolves made multiple highlight catches in the outfield in both games, coupled with great pitching.
A week later, SK lost 7-1 in the state tournament against Issaquah.
The Wolves often struggled to make routine plays in that game and committed a season-high seven errors.
Incongruent performances also were a regularity during the regular season, but South showed enough to land two starters and three honorable mention performers on the 2009 All-Kitsap County Baseball Team as voted on by the sports editors of the Kitsap News Group.
2009 All-Kitsap County Baseball Team
• P — Casey Bohlmann, senior, Central Kitsap: The left-hander offered Cougars coach Bill Baxter a reliable arm to spell Drew Vettleson. Bohlmann pitched 34 innings during the regular season, going 4-1 with a 3.09 ERA and 43 strikeouts to just eight walks. Bohlmann finished the regular season with a .358 batting average in the No. 6 spot.
• P — Eric Eley, senior, Klahowya: The right-handed power pitcher logged a 1.97 ERA in a team-high 53 1/3 innings, striking out 58 batters to finish the season with a 6-3 record. Also one of the Eagles’ most consistent hitters, Eley hit .396 with nine RBI and .604 slugging percentage.
• P — Colin Feldtman, senior, Bainbridge: The Spartans rode Feldtman’s arm to the Class 3A state championship game. Coach Jayson Gore said Feldtman pitched five consecutive complete-games to end the season, emerging as the team’s undisputed ace. His 1.21 ERA was a team-best. He also hit .421 with 16 RBI.
• P — Kurtis Pitcher, senior, Klahowya: Aptly named, the left-hander delivered each time the Eagles needed a big performance. He threw a one-hitter with 15 strikeouts against Port Angeles in late April and delivered a gritty performance in the Eagles’ season-ending loss to W.F. West in the state tournament. Pitcher, who will play next year at Western Oregon University, finished with a 2.33 ERA, striking out a team-best 63 batters to just 20 walks.
• P — Tyler Sullivan, senior, Kingston: Sullivan, who will play at the University of Washington next year, terrorized opposing teams from both the mound and the batter’s box this season. As a pitcher, Sullivan had 53 strikeouts in 33 innings, and gave up an average of 1.7 runs per game. On the offensive side, Sullivan hit .460, including two home runs, in 15 regular season games.
• C — Curtis Wildung, sophomore, Kingston: Wildung led the Buccaneers with 22 RBI this season, putting up one of the best batting averages in the Olympic League at .511 in 15 regular season games.
• 1B — Danny Orr, junior, Kingston: Orr racked up 25 hits in 15 regular season games on his way to a .490 batting average. He also had 13 RBI and two home runs.
n 2B — Nate Roberts, senior, Central Kitsap: Slated to play second base next season at Seattle University, Roberts anchored the CK infield, seeing significant action at shortstop. The right-handed Roberts batted No. 3 in the Cougars’ lineup, hitting .383 with four home runs and 20 RBI.
• SS — Brady Steiger, senior, South Kitsap: Rated as the 13th-best player in Washington’s 2009 class by Baseball Northwest, Steiger wasn’t challenged often as the Wolves’ No. 3 hitter. He had a team-best 10 walks during the regular season, a .435 batting average and had team-best’s in home runs (five) and RBI (19). He committed to play at Washington State University in March 2008, where he likely will return to third base, the position he played in 2008 for the Wolves. He had perhaps his best game in a 10-2 win May 17 against Jefferson. Steiger went 3 for 4 with a walk, double, home run and three RBI in a win that advanced South to state for a second consecutive season.
• 3B — Will Martin, senior, Bainbridge: Martin finished the regular season with a .500 batting average win 50 plate appearances, hitting three home runs to go with a team-high 21 RBI.
• OF — Drew Vettleson, junior, Central Kitsap: Recently named the 2009 Gatorade Player of the Year, the ambidextrous Vettleson, who has verbally committed to Oregon State University, hit .382 with four home runs and 18 RBI during the regular season from the left side of the plate. On the mound, where he utilized his right arm, he logged a 1.70 ERA with 40 strikeouts in 25 innings, going 2-0 during the regular season.
• OF — Blake Johnson, junior, Olympic: Johnson posted .455 batting average and scored a team-best 29 runs to go with 12 RBI. Primarily a center fielder, he stole 16 bases while putting up a .709 slugging percentage.
• OF — Andy Smith, senior, North Kitsap: Smith, who will play outfield for the University of Washington next year, put up huge numbers on offense and defense this season. As a batter, Smith led the Vikings, hitting .483 with 23 RBI and two homers. On the mound, Smith was undefeated in the regular season and had 53 strikeouts in 46 innings, allowing an average of 1.51 runs per game.
• UTIL — Chris Campbell, sophomore, Olympic: Capable of playing almost any position on the field, Campbell led the Trojans with .475 batting average and 22 RBI. He was second on the team in both runs and total bases with 19 and 35, respectively.
• UTIL — Rickey Johnson, junior, South Kitsap: At a school that counts Kansas City Royals utility player Willie Bloomquist as an alumnus, Johnson filled the role as the Wolves’ most versatile athlete this year. He regularly played first and third base when he wasn’t serving as one of South Kitsap’s top pitchers. Johnson had a .463 batting average during the regular season and also had a team-best .635 on-base percentage. He also hit two home runs, tied for a team-best with 10 RBI and led the Wolves with nine stolen bases. On the mound, the right-handed Johnson had a 3-1 record with a 2.44 ERA and had 19 strikeouts in the same amount of innings. “I’m a sucker for guys like that,” South coach Jim Fairweather said. “It’s nice when you get to coach kids with some talent and a nice drive to go with it.”
• DH — Rueben Smith, senior, Kingston: Smith was an asset for the Bucs all season despite a shoulder injury that kept him from playing the field. In 16 regular season games, Smith averaged .364 at the plate, drove in 13 RBI and blasted three home runs.
• Coach of the Year — Jayson Gore, Bainbridge: The 10th-year coach led the Spartans to the Class 3A state championship game at Safeco Field where they lost to O’Dea, 10-3. Along the way, however, Bainbridge upset then-No. 1-ranked Timberline in the semifinals, one of five games the team played against a state-ranked No. 1 team. The Spartans, who graduate 13 seniors, didn’t lose a regular-season Metro League contest by more than three runs all season. The team finished 19-8 overall one of the state’s most competitive baseball leagues.
Honorable Mentions (alphabetical by last name)
Cole Adams, Central Kitsap; Jeremy Aske, North Kitsap; Tyler Baumgartner, Central Kitsap; Paul Begala, Kingston; Zach Bird, Olympic; Nic Bennish, North Kitsap; Tanner Bogardus, Bainbridge; Mitch Cartwright, South Kitsap; Riley Crow, Olympic; Brendan Gawlowski, Bainbridge; Jordan Halstead, Olympic, Allen Hewey, Central Kitsap; Stephen Jeffcoat, Klahowya; Daniel Jewitt, North Kitsap; Kyle Kunkel, Central Kitsap; Howard McDonald, Central Kitsap; Scott McGallian, South Kitsap; Mario McLaughlin, Bainbridge; Colin Monagle, South Kitsap; Colby Morse, Bainbridge; Kyle Murray, Kingston; Brandon Neet, Klahowya; Darrell Newman, Klahowya; Alex Smith, North Kitsap; and Josh Winkler, Central Kitsap.